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Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator - Conventional Mobile Crane


Crane and hoisting equipment operators service and operate the hoist and swing equipment used to move machinery, materials and other large objects.  Conventional mobile crane operatorsservice and operate booms that are mounted on crawlers or wheeled frames as well as traveling, fixed or climbing type hoisting equipment with a vertical mast or tower and a jib.

Conventional mobile crane operators manipulate a number of pedals and levers to rotate the crane, and raise and lower its boom and one or more loadlines. Some or all of these operations may be performed simultaneously.

Certification is required when operating mobile cranes with a lifting capacity of fifteen tons (13.6 tonnes) and over. Mobile crane operators also may drive the crane to the job site, rig the machine up (pin the boom and pendant cables and pull the hoist cable in preparation for operation), and set up the machine for the lift (i.e. make it level and stable) using blocking and leveling materials.

For more information regarding tasks and activities, please review the Trade Regulation.


Working Conditions

Crane and hoisting equipment operators – conventional mobile crane (conventional mobile crane operators) work outdoors, often in noisy, dusty conditions. They work in various locations throughout Alberta, in all types of weather. A 40-hour, five-day week is normal, but overtime may be required to meet construction deadlines.

Occupational hazards include injuries resulting from power line contact, crane overload, falls, weather conditions or manual lifting.


Skills and Abilities

Successful convention mobile crane operators are capable decision-makers who are prepared to work independently when necessary. They also enjoy the comradery of being part of a team and traveling to different locations. They often like variety in their work.

To be successful in the trade, conventional mobile crane operators must have:

  • coordination and manual dexterity
  • the ability to work at heights
  • the strength, stamina, and ability to use proper lifting techniques to lift items weighing in excess of 25 kilograms
  • good vision
  • the ability to work as part of a team and communicate with ground crews, usually using hand signals and voice communication.


Employment and Advancement

Conventional mobile crane operators are employed by general contractors and subcontractors in the forestry, mining, construction and oil industries, and by crane rental companies. Employment prospects change with seasonal and economic climates. Many crane operators are members of unions.

Journeyperson wage rates vary, but generally range from $24 to $38 an hour, plus benefits.

Experienced conventional mobile crane operators may advance to supervisory positions, or set up their own crane rental businesses.


Working in Alberta

To work as a conventional mobile crane operator in Alberta, a person must be a registered apprentice, an Alberta-certified journeyperson, or hold a valid recognized credential.

Individuals possessing a valid recognized credential in Alberta are eligible to receive a Blue Seal business credential after completing the necessary requirements.


Apprenticeship Training

There is no apprenticeship program for the conventional mobile crane operator trade at this time. There is only an apprenticeship program for the full Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator – Mobile Crane trade.


Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program

The conventional mobile crane operator trade does not participate in the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program.


Qualification Certificate Program

For a Qualification Certificate based on a recognized credential or work experience in order to prepare for the exam(s) please refer to the Exam Counselling Sheets and review available Resource Materials.

Time spent on supervisory or foreman duties, counter work, heading the tool crib, or on training course is NOT counted as 'hands-on' work experience.


Equivalency Program

A person who holds a valid recognized credential does not require an Alberta equivalency document to work in the trade in Alberta.

However, some employers may require Alberta documentation as proof that the holder is allowed to work in the trade or that the holder's credential is recognized.

More information regarding the Equivalency Program can be found here.